We’ve all developed a heightened awareness of germs and viruses over the last couple of years; especially those we breathe in on a daily basis. And since a large proportion of the air we breathe was previously breathed out by somebody else, it’s no surprise that respiratory viruses can spread so easily.
To try and help tackle this issue, CoSchools in conjunction with EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and the University of Cambridge, University of Surrey, and Imperial College London, are distributing CO2 monitors to UK schools. These will help to monitor CO2 levels in the classroom and help provide a healthier and more active learning environment for students.
Why Monitoring CO2 Is Important
There are many reasons why monitoring CO2 levels in the classroom is important. For starters, high CO2 levels indicate poor ventilation, which means an increase in the risk of airborne virus transmission. While breathing air that’s been breathed out by others isn’t inherently an issue, it becomes one when viruses are in the air, especially during pandemics like Covid-19.
Studies have also shown high levels of CO2 to be associated with a reduced cognitive ability, along with drowsiness. So, in addition to preventing students who have caught respiratory viruses from taking sick days, CO2 monitors can also help with attention levels and work output, promoting a more engaged classroom and increased learning.
Aranet4 HOME Sensor
This is all achieved with the Aranet4 HOME Sensor. The wireless, easy to install CO2 monitor uses a simple traffic light display to alert the user when CO2 levels have become unhealthy. To make things even easier, the Aranet4 HOME Sensor only requires 2 AA batteries, which will last for up to 2 years. It can also be linked to your smartphone via an app, telling you everything you need to know on the go.
What Counts As Unhealthy CO2 Levels?
CO2 levels are measured in ppm (parts per million), with lower levels indicating good ventilation and higher numbers indicating poor ventilation. As long as the CO2 monitor is detecting levels below 800ppm, then the ventilation is considered to be good. Anything above 800 is considered high, and steps should be taken to increase ventilation.
If the CO2 monitor is frequently detecting levels above 1,500ppm, even when all efforts have been made to increase ventilation, then something more drastic will need to be discussed with school management teams to ensure a safe classroom environment.
What To Do When Unhealthy Levels Of CO2 Are Detected?
When the CO2 monitor detects unhealthy levels of CO2 in the air, taking care of the issue couldn’t be simpler: all you have to do is open a window. As new, fresh air enters the room, it’ll push out the old CO2, restoring the balance and giving your students clean air to breathe. It’s always best to start with windows that are higher up, but as time goes on, you can start to build an intuition for what works best for what rooms. Remember, CO2 in itself is not dangerous, so be sure to strike a balance between CO2 levels and comfortable temperatures in the winter months.